Reporting Tim Kephart
South Florida Crime
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Barack Obama cut his vacation short Wednesday and returned to Washington to continue negotiations on the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff. But, even with that move, a growing number of Americans believe no deal will be reached and the blame is falling on the GOP.
According to the latest Gallup Poll, fifty percent of voters believe a deal is somewhat or very likely to be reached to avert the fiscal cliff/austerity crisis, compared to 48 percent who believe a deal is not at all or not too likely to be struck.
Just two weeks ago, 57 percent believed a deal was likely while 40 percent said a deal was not in the cards, according to Gallup.
When it comes to the major players in the negotiations to avert the austerity criss, voters are siding with President Obama and Democrats in Contress.
Obama received support from 54 percent of voters in the Gallup poll for his handling of the austerity crisis negotiations, which was up from two weeks ago when his numbers stood at 48 percent. Democratic leaders in Congress also saw a big jump in their approval numbers from 34 to 45 percent over the last two weeks.
The poll also saw increasing numbers for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who saw his approval numbers on the austerity crisis negotiations jump from 24 percent to 34 percent over two weeks.
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner’s numbers were 25 percent two weeks ago and roughly the same in the latest poll, with approval coming from just 26 percent of voters. GOP leaders in the House saw their numbers drop 3 points to 26 percent over the last two weeks in Gallup’s poll.
Gallup’s polling found nearly 70 percent of voters said they wanted “compromise” when it came to a deal on the austerity crisis, while 22 percent wanted leaders to stick to their principles. So far, President Obama has lowered his demands, but Boehner hasn’t reciprocated with planned tax rate increases.
The austerity crisis will likely strike the poor and middle class first when the calendar rolls over to January 1, 2013. Payroll taxes will increase and more than two million people will likely lose unemployment benefits immediately.
Cuts to government, which is part of the austerity crisis, will be phased in over the next fiscal year which ends on September 30.